The 16th AIPSC was organized from 9th February to 12th February 2018 at National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER). The Congress was hosted by Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS), Odisha. More than 700 delegates from 42 organisations associated with the All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN) from across the Country, and more than 200 participants from Odisha and 130 children, come together for the promotion of science and public participation in science and technology in country. The 16th AIPSC attempted to make a difference in content discourse, hospitality and people participation.
The city of Bhopal witnessed a unique Festival — a festival of diversity, reason and resistance—between 26th and 28th of November. Named as Bhopal Utsav, it was organised by various progressive organisations, collectives and movements between. The festival brought together activists from diverse movements, cultural activists, science activists and thousands of people from all walks of life. The festival was conceived as a response to the systematic assault on people’s lives mounted by religious sectarian forces and neoliberal economic policies. Over 3,000 people representing movements from across the country, raised their voices in unison to celebrate popular resistance against attempts to unmake the vision of a multicultural and self–reliant nation that fired the independence movement in India. For three days the grounds of the Rabindra Bhawan reverberated with slogans, songs, and debates which spoke about the real concerns of the people. They spoke of social justice, gender equality, of the primacy of reason over obscurantism, and of freedom – freedom from hunger and poverty, freedom from repression of free speech and ideas, and freedom from caste and class oppression.